Wind Energy Factory Watch: Goldwind: Montana

Goldwind is one of the five largest wind power manufacturers in the world. The potential Goldwind wind energy facility is an example of the type of manufacturing facility that will come to the U.S. if steps are taken to ensure a strong, long-term wind farm market.

Goldwind is now in the preliminary stages of site selection. To ensure that Goldwind and other major wind energy companies see U.S. manufacturing as a valuable investment, Congress must act to extend the 1603 convertible tax credit and provide the market support through a Renewable Electricity Standard that is critical for project developers to expand U.S. wind farm installations.

These policies are critical to growing wind energy manufacturing jobs here in the U.S.

Goldwind is following a market entry strategy that is well-known in the wind power industry. After seeking to develop initial market share, wind turbine manufacturers serve the U.S. market with domestic manufacturing facilities.

Of the top 10 manufacturers of ind turbines installed in the U.S. in 2009, nine have online or announced manufacturing facilities in the U.S.

Since Goldwind’s parent company is Chinese, the expansion of Goldwind America is a good example of “insourcing” of foreign capital to create American jobs, in the reverse of the outsourcing phenomenon in other industries.

Wind energy is a powerful source of manufacturing jobs and insourcing brings more of those jobs to American shores.

Strong Chinese policy support for the wind energy industry has driven Goldwind’s rapid rise to become a major player in the wind power industry and the second largest manufacturer in China.

In 2010, the U.S. wind power industry installed 10 GW of new wind farm generating capacity, while China installed around 14 GW. This year, the difference in national supports for the wind power industry will become even more stark, as annual Chinese wind farm installation will likely be more than double U.S. annual installation.

Without action by the U.S. Congress, China is poised to quickly overtake the U.S. as the world leader in wind installation.

By Tom Gray,